Panasonic GF6 vs Sony HX99
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2013 and August 2018. The GF6 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the HX99 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (GF6) and a 1/2.3-inch (HX99) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 15.8 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 18 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Panasonic GF6 and the Sony HX99 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The GF6 can be obtained in four different colors (black, brown, red, white), while the HX99 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX99 is notably smaller (18 percent) than the Panasonic GF6. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the GF6 nor the HX99 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the HX99 has a lens built in, whereas the GF6 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the GF6 and their specifications in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the GF6 gets 340 shots out of its DMW-BLG10 battery, while the HX99 can take 370 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the HX99 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Panasonic GF6||111 mm||65 mm||38 mm||323 g||340||n||Apr 2013||499||ebay.com|
|2.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|4.||Panasonic GX850||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||269 g||210||n||Jan 2017||549||amazon.com|
|5.||Panasonic GF7||107 mm||65 mm||33 mm||266 g||230||n||Jan 2015||499||ebay.com|
|6.||Panasonic G6||122 mm||85 mm||71 mm||390 g||340||n||Apr 2013||599||ebay.com|
|7.||Panasonic G5||120 mm||83 mm||71 mm||396 g||320||n||Jul 2012||599||ebay.com|
|8.||Panasonic GF5||108 mm||67 mm||37 mm||267 g||360||n||Apr 2012||499||ebay.com|
|9.||Panasonic G3||115 mm||84 mm||47 mm||336 g||270||n||May 2011||599||ebay.com|
|10.||Panasonic GX1||116 mm||68 mm||39 mm||318 g||320||n||Nov 2011||699||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic G10||124 mm||84 mm||74 mm||388 g||380||n||Mar 2010||499||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic GF2||113 mm||68 mm||33 mm||310 g||300||n||Nov 2010||549||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic G1||124 mm||84 mm||45 mm||360 g||410||n||Sep 2008||599||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429||amazon.com|
|15.||Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony HX400V||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||660 g||300||n||Feb 2014||499||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The HX99 was launched at a lower price than the GF6, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic GF6 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Sony HX99 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the HX99 is 88 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 5.6. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the HX99 offers a higher resolution of 18 megapixels, compared with 15.8 MP of the GF6. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.25μm versus 3.77μm for the GF6). However, it should be noted that the HX99 is much more recent (by 5 years and 4 months) than the GF6, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the HX99 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Sony HX99 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the HX99 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.5 x 18.4 inches or 62.2 x 46.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.6 x 14.7 inches or 49.7 x 37.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.3 x 12.2 inches or 41.5 x 31.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic GF6 are 23 x 17.2 inches or 58.3 x 43.8 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.7 x 35 cm for very good quality, and 15.3 x 11.5 inches or 38.9 x 29.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 160-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Panasonic GF6||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||20.7||10.6||622||54|
|4.||Panasonic GX850||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||4K/30p||23.2||13.3||586||73|
|5.||Panasonic GF7||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.7||12.3||874||70|
|6.||Panasonic G6||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||21.3||11.5||639||61|
|7.||Panasonic G5||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||22.3||11.9||643||66|
|8.||Panasonic GF5||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.4||11.6||618||61|
|9.||Panasonic G3||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60i||21.0||10.6||667||56|
|10.||Panasonic GX1||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||20.8||10.6||703||55|
|11.||Panasonic G10||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||720/30p||21.2||10.1||411||52|
|12.||Panasonic GF2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.2||10.3||506||54|
|13.||Panasonic G1||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||none||21.1||10.3||463||53|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the HX99 provides a better video resolution than the GF6. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Panasonic is limited to 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the HX99 has an electronic viewfinder (638k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the GF6 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic GF6, the Sony HX99, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Panasonic GF6||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||4.2/s||Y||n|
|2.||Sony HX99||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Panasonic GX850||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||10.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Panasonic GF7||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/500s||5.8/s||Y||n|
|6.||Panasonic G6||1440||n||3.0 / 1036||swivel||Y||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Panasonic G5||1440||n||3.0 / 920||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Panasonic GF5||none||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Panasonic G3||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||Y||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Panasonic GX1||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.2/s||Y||n|
|11.||Panasonic G10||202||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|12.||Panasonic GF2||optional||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||Y||1/4000s||2.6/s||Y||n|
|13.||Panasonic G1||1440||n||3.0 / 460||swivel||n||1/4000s||3.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Sony HX95||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony WX800||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony HX90V||638||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony HX400V||210||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
The GF6 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX99 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Panasonic GF6||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Sony HX99||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Panasonic GX850||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|5.||Panasonic GF7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Panasonic G6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Panasonic G5||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Panasonic GF5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Panasonic G3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Panasonic GX1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic G10||Y||mono / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Panasonic GF2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic G1||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Sony HX95||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony WX800||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony HX90V||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony HX400V||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
The HX99 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the GF6 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the GF6 was succeeded by the Panasonic GF7. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Sony websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Panasonic GF6 better than the Sony HX99 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in April 2013).
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (18 vs 15.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 7%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the GF6 necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 111x65mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the GF6).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 4 months of technical progress since the GF6 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the HX99 is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 9 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic GF6 and the Sony HX99 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the GF6 or the HX99 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Panasonic GF6||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499||ebay.com|
|2.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|4.||Panasonic GX850||..||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||549||amazon.com|
|5.||Panasonic GF7||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||499||ebay.com|
|6.||Panasonic G6||4/5||+ +||..||..||5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||599||ebay.com|
|7.||Panasonic G5||3/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599||ebay.com|
|8.||Panasonic GF5||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||499||ebay.com|
|9.||Panasonic G3||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2011||599||ebay.com|
|10.||Panasonic GX1||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2011||699||ebay.com|
|11.||Panasonic G10||3/5||..||..||70/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2010||499||ebay.com|
|12.||Panasonic GF2||3/5||82/100||..||70/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2010||549||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic G1||..||+ +||..||70/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2008||599||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429||amazon.com|
|15.||Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony HX400V||4/5||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||499||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon SX430 vs Sony HX99
- Canon T3i vs Sony HX99
- Fujifilm X-T3 vs Sony HX99
- Leica M Typ 240 vs Panasonic GF6
- Leica S2 vs Sony HX99
- Nikon D5200 vs Panasonic GF6
- Nikon D5200 vs Sony HX99
- Nikon Z50 vs Sony HX99
- Panasonic FZ1000 vs Panasonic GF6
- Panasonic GF6 vs Panasonic S1
- Panasonic GF6 vs Panasonic TZ100
- Panasonic GF6 vs Sony A77
Specifications: Panasonic GF6 vs Sony HX99
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Panasonic GF6||Sony HX99|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|Launch Date||April 2013||August 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 449|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic GF6||Sony HX99|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.8 Megapixels||18 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4592 x 3448 pixels||4896 x 3672 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.77 μm||1.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.04 MP/cm2||64.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 12,800 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||160 - 25,600 ISO||80 - 6,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||Venus FHD||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||54||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.7||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.6||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||622||..|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic GF6||Sony HX99|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||638k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic GF6||Sony HX99|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||4.2 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic GF6||Sony HX99|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic GF6||Sony HX99|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||340 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
111 x 65 x 38 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.5 in)
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||323 g (11.4 oz)||242 g (8.5 oz)|
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